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Cell 1994 Nov 18;79(4):705-15


Alpha 9: an acetylcholine receptor with novel pharmacological properties expressed in rat cochlear hair cells.


Elgoyhen AB, Johnson DS, Boulter J, Vetter DE, Heinemann S

Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, California 92037.

We report the isolation and functional characterization of a member of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit gene family, alpha 9. Xenopus oocytes injected with alpha 9 cRNA express a homomeric receptor-channel complex that is activated by acetylcholine. The alpha 9 receptor displays an unusual mixed nicotinic-muscarinic pharmacological profile. The unique properties of the alpha 9 receptor-channel complex closely match those described for the cholinergic receptor present in vertebrate cochlear hair cells. In situ hybridization studies reveal a restricted pattern of alpha 9 gene expression that includes the outer hair cells of the rat cochlea. Our results suggest that the alpha 9 receptor is involved in the cholinergic efferent innervation of cochlear hair cells and thus may modulate the encoding of auditory stimuli.

PMID: 7954834, UI: 95042767

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